NZ shares rise as Fletchers hit high point
New Zealand shares gained as Fletcher Building reached its highest level this year on speculation it will benefit from housing demand, while Auckland International Airport, which fell, was the most heavily traded stock. Orion Health Group, Sky Network Television and Air New Zealand all rose.
The S&P/NZX50 Index rose 19.8 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,039.42. Within the index, 27 stocks advanced, 16 declined and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $473.1 million.
Fletcher Building rose 1.5 percent to $8.95, and is up 20 percent for the year.
"All the talk about a housing shortage is pretty good news for a stock like Fletcher Building and investors, particularly Australian investors, are pretty keen on the stock at the moment," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Green.
Orion Health Group was the biggest gainer, up 6 percent to $5.15.
Auckland International Airport dropped 2.6 percent to $6.24. The listed airport was the most traded stock on the index, with 25.8 million shares equating to 2.3 percent of all its shares available, or $161.1 million dollars.
Kathmandu Holdings rose 3.9 percent to $1.59, A2 Milk Co gained 3.3 percent to $1.58, and Summerset Group advanced 3.2 percent to $4.80.
Sky TV gained 2 percent to $4.50. It's risen 13 percent in the past fortnight after the stock plummeted when the pay-TV operator said subscriber numbers were expected to fall further this financial year, causing earnings next year to miss analyst estimates.
Air New Zealand advanced 1.6 percent to $2.25. Today, Chinese airline operator HNA Aviation Group announced it has bought a 13 percent stake in Virgin Australia. Air New Zealand is considering selling its 25.99 percent stake in Virgin.
Kiwi Property Group shed 4.2 percent to $1.485 after giving up rights to a 3.3 cent dividend.
Freightways dropped 3.2 percent to $6.60, Mighty River Power fell 1.7 percent to $2.97 and Comvita declined 1.6 percent to $12.55.
Outside the main index, TruScreen gained 10 percent to 27.5 cents, Wynyard Group gained 2.8 percent to 73 cents and VMob Group gained 5.7 percent to 37 cents.